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Pope Francis announces decision to extend Synod on Synodality to 2024

Courtney Mares   By Courtney Mares for CNA

Pope Francis meets with leaders of the Synod of Bishops' general secretariat in the library of the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican Oct. 14, 2022. Pictured with the pontiff are XaviËre Missionary Sister Nathalie Becquart, undersecretary; Bishop Luis MarÌn de San MartÌn, undersecretary; Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, relator general; Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary-general and Jesuit Father Giacomo Costa, consultant. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

Vatican City, Oct 16, 2022 / 05:30 am (CNA).

Pope Francis announced on Sunday that the Synod on Synodality will be extended to 2024.

Speaking in his Angelus address on Oct. 16, the pope shared his decision to divide the Synod of Bishops into two sessions that will meet in Rome in October 2023 and October 2024.

Pope Francis explained that he made the decision “in order to have a more relaxed period of discernment.”

“The fruits of the synodal process under way are many, but so that they might come to full maturity, it is necessary not to be in a rush,” Francis said.

“I trust that this decision will promote the understanding of synodality as a constitutive dimension of the Church, and help everyone to live it as the journey of brothers and sisters who proclaim the joy of the Gospel,” he said.

The two sessions of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will take place from Oct. 4 to 29, 2023, and in October 2024, bringing together bishops from across the world to discuss and prepare a document to counsel the pope.

Pope Francis launched the Synod on Synodality in October 2021 as a worldwide undertaking during which Catholics were encouraged to submit feedback to their local dioceses.

The Catholic Church’s massive multi-year synodal process has been divided into stages. The initial diocesan listening phase concluded with the participation of 112 out of 114 of the world’s Catholic bishops’ conferences, according to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.

According to a report from the U.S. bishops’ conference, about 700,000 people participated in the diocesan phase of the synod in the U.S. out of 66.8 million Catholics in the country.

The second, continental phase is taking place from September 2022 to March 2023. In this stage, Continental Synodal Assemblies will be convened between January and March of next year.

The General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops describes these continental assemblies as a meeting to “reread the journey made and to continue the listening and discernment … proceeding in accord with the socio-cultural specificities of their respective regions.”

An Instrumentum laboris — or DTC (Documento per la Tappa Continentale), as the Synod of Bishops is calling it — will guide the continental phase discussions. The document is expected to be published by the end of this month or early November and is being drafted by the synod’s leadership, advisory committee, and a group of approximately 20 “experts.”

The final, universal phase will begin with the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican in October 2023 and continue in October 2024.

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  1. A Pope, resistant to doctrine and the Ordinary Magisterium relative to centuries of Church Tradition, continues to turn the minor experience of a ‘synod’ into the universal importance of a Council under the guise of ‘listening to the people’ and continuing to be indifferent to Revelation and forgetting what it means to bring Souls back to Christ.

  2. Two years instead of one, a great idea! As things now stand, synodality is all over the map in every sense of the word. Time now for a reality check by the one, hole, catholic and apostolic Church…

    Yes, extended to two sessions there’s even the opportunity for Batzing to be replaced, and for a smooth replacement of the echo-chamber voices, Grech and Hollerich. And, even for a successor pope (?) to restore all of the Successors of the Apostles as something more than flip-chart “facilitators” for a congeries of interests of one color or another, or of all colors in the rainbow.

    Butt, one problem is that the gangrenous German “synodal way” is also likely on a 2024 timeline. With its agenda to mainstream the homosexual lifestyle, masturbation (be inclusive!), bigamy, and priestesses. So, the fly in the ointment (double entendre intended) is the danger of some kind of plebiscite mega-surprise attached in the second year 2024—just as undefined “synodality” itself was annexed in 2018 to the very unrelated “Synod on Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment.” Pin the tail on the donkey!

    Still, 2024 is a good opportunity in the United States to leaven synodal listening with the 2024 National Eucharistic Conference in Indianapolis. And, of course the year 2023 must be avoided, since that will be the 30th Anniversary of Veritatis Splendor—a modernday “prisoner of the Vatican.”

  3. Great. Another year of confusion, navel-gazing and catering to the zeitgeist.
    Or maybe more time to expose the rot so we can excise it.
    One can only hope. And pray.

  4. First the synod general secretariat said that the whole-church Synod is the fruit of VATICAN II and now the Holy Father takes it further and says that it is “constitutive dimension of the Church” whereby it will help Christians “proclaim the joy of the Gospel”.

    I suspect and I suggest that there is some other cause -misgiving- for the extension but a need to make it known in haste determined a badly crafted explanation.

    The thing that constitutes the Church is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

    “Synod” being “mentioned throughout the Council documents” refers to subsidiary activity in particular Churches.

    • My sentiments exactly. Make the Synod a permanent fixture in the Church rather than torturing us with death by a thousand paper cuts.

  5. If the China Provisional Agreement is renewed later this month on its “anniversary” October 22 and gets another 2-year period, it then coincides with the extended timeline of the “Synod”.

    The FIDES article is worth reading in full I think.

    ‘ In the dominant representations of the relations between China and the Vatican, the factors that pushed the Holy See to follow the path it has taken, and the criteria that have guided it in its choices on questions so vital to the sensus Ecclesiae of Chinese Catholics, are generally suppressed and hidden. ‘

  6. Yes, let’s twiddle our thumbs while Rome burns.
    I am so done with this S on S.
    I’m with Robert Royal, The Catholic Thing, “VIII by a thousand cuts” (words to that effect), Oct. 17.

  7. In the photo are 6 people that I wouldn’t entrust to be alone talking to my children, or anyone I cared about.

    They oppose the apostolic faith, for instance, they oppose the Church’s moral teaching against sodomy, as stated by Eminence Hollerich, SJ.

    They should be shunned, as St. Paul says about disbelievers “inside the Church.”

    • It’s worth noting that a full half of the Synodality leadership as shown in the photo (3 out of 6) are Jesuits. They’re not doing a very good job of hiding their takeover of the Church, are they?

  8. Wang Libin supplies good information and, I think, analysis, in his article here at THE DIPLOMAT May 7 2022, “China-Vatican Relations in the Xi Era”; however he hasn’t disentangled the problems:

    ‘ The practical need to gain control, if only nominally, of China’s 12 million Catholics has conflicted with the conscientious need to condemn the CCP, making Pope Francis ambivalent about whether the two sides should sign a formal agreement on the bishop arrangement this October, when the renewed deal will expire. ‘

    The problem is serial, i.e., inter-connected with one consequent on the other, etc. The Holy Father identifies “formal” relations as inferior but the Provisional Agreement has fixed faithful Catholics under the legalistic handle of the CPC inside a confusion of ideas; and placed the Holy See in a conflict between not dividing the hierarchy but dividing it. It’s one thing to identify formalism as having a danger of being empty. But are you even able to handle substantial relationships that do not have formalist expression? Do you even care to do so? Mustn’t you at least try? And mustn’t you avoid over-laying your effort with other actions that tend to neutralize it or cancel it?

    Why subjugate Chinese Catholics and all Chinese with them, to the ideas of the CPC? How can you do that and in the same moment proclaim that reality is greater than ideas? Which reality is being sustained?

    Following Libin’s train of thought, 4 years have passed and nothing has changed.

    Then can’t it also be seen that 4 years have passed and nothing has been learned?

  9. Maybe enough discernment has occurred to discern that the Holy Spirit is busy discerning and is still very confused since Francis has discerned in his many discernments that God is a God in process, a God who discerns through history, uncertain from one age to another of what is really true or not, what is really real or not, what needs to be discerned about right and wrong. After all, the Holy Spirit should not be tempted to be involved in commiting the “sin of backwardness”. Francis must be discerning that discerning is difficult for all beings, greater and lesser.

  10. A famous saying is “ if it ain’t broke, dont fix it”. An extra year of this confused synod is nothing more than an extended opportunity to misdirect and destroy the church. The church has been mostly skidding downhill since V2 wrought so much destruction on tradition, discipline and decimated vocations. This so-called synod is on target to make it worse. Disgusted by the vapidness of the German Bishops.

  11. – a difft take on the need for the process of listening , in the trusting hope in The Spirit that it would open hearts to hear Him , to bring needed repentance too in all areas where in the enemy voice reverberates .. the decision to extend the synod for another year – ? also as reparation for a Church that has closed its ears and heart , while giving lip service if at that to the role of the Holy Father and The Catholic Church,
    ? effects of same manifesting in own people as hatred for life and related addictions , lust for power and money among those in authority .. Same then spilling over as wars and vindictiveness, instead of the good will to listen to own people to hear of the help needed , in how to be ‘orthodox ‘in protecting the sacredness of life and marriage ..

    Good to see EWTN doing the Rosary devotion for peace in Ukraine by participating in same from Lourdes …Immaculate Conception – a blessed truth given to The Church , to prepare the children for these times of carnal flood waters .. for a deeper awareness that each life has its origin in the Giver of Life , that the noncarnal purity of same is for us through The Mother … ? the fear of that truth as the tool used by the enemy to keep even Churches that claim oneness in Truth , yet reluctant to accept same whole heartedly ..and instead find reasons to magnify perceived errors in the patient , compassionate stand of the Holy Father in his difficult role to deal with the entrenched wounds and sensitivities …the joy and enthusiasm with which the synodal process is accepted in some places to be ? the antidote for the fears and the sclerotic stubborness in other places ..instead to be young at heart, through the young too , who ‘make a mess ‘ – such as the Bl.Carlo Acutis who loved St.Francis and The Eucharist ..The endearing dialogue that St.Luke would have had with The Mother – that they likley continue in heaven , rejoicing in already beholding in the Eternal Now in the Divine Will , how the mighty have been cast down – as given in a recent talking / teaching ‘doctoring ‘ moment by the Holy Father …may The Spirit drown out and remove all dragon flood waters to help us all to heed His whisper – as His Love for the littlest to the least ..
    FIAT !

    • What exactly is “compassionate” from the actions of a “Holy Father” who seeks to trivialize the damage done to the victims of sin through institutionalizing the process of a permanent deconstruction of the objective moral order given to us by God to where it becomes meaningless?

  12. Personally, I’d like to see synodality extended into 2025 as well. But why stop there? Since it’s such a brilliant, stupendous idea, let’s make it perpetual. It will, thus, renew the Church every year like clockwork, long after Pope F. has sailed off into the sunset. What a legacy it will be. Eternal sodality–at least until the Kingdom comes.

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